Abiodun Onafuye/ Abeokuta
Former Archbishop and Primate Metropolitan of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Most Rev. Peter Akiniola has tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to proof to Nigerians that voted him into power in 2011 that his government is not ‘a kindergarten” type.
Akinola also challenged Nigerians to use the 2015 general elections to “demand, insist and resolutely crusade for a clean Nigeria”.
The Cleric further took a swipe at the use of private jets by some
fellow clergymen, describing them as those “in spirit of the age; materialism” asserting, “such behavior is not only outrageous but also ungodly”.
Akinola, 69 years old, spoke at a roundtable session with some selected media houses in his Abeokuta country home. The thrust of the discussion was “How to Break The Corruption Jinx” in the country.
The respected cleric noted that for Nigeria to have a clean break from the present corrupt society, the people must rise and tell their leaders, through their actions that “Enough is Enough”.
“The politicians can’t carry out any meaningful reforms, they are the suckers and looters of our treasury, they can’t change, but unfortunately Nigerians are sleeping, they must wake up from their
slumber”, he said.
Akinola who now runs a Foundation to empower and train the downtrodden youths insisted that “political will is the key to control corruption. For any leader to successfully fight, such leader must not only be courageous but must also be credible and committed.’
“Corruption offenders must be seen to be punished and the anti-corruption agencies must have integrity “If the job must be done well”, he advised.
On the 2015 general elections, the clergyman said: “This is the most
auspicious time for Nigerians to demand, insist and resolutely crusade for “A clear Nigeria now”.
“Apathy will not do. Sitting on the fence will bring no gain, selling and buying of votes can only continue to lead to slavery and poverty. No one is too big and no one is too low to advance the cause of better Nigeria. In one voice, let us demand from the political parties and candidates asking for our votes, to declare assets publicly,
sources of financing their parties, their election campaign budgets, and donors as well as their liabilities”.
“Presidential, Governorship and all other candidates must come up with clear, actionable, measurable and time-bound anti-corruption
programmes”, he added.
The Clergyman did not spare his constituency, the Church. He regretted that instead of the church assisting in the fight against corrupt practices, most church leaders have not only become victims of the canker worm but also chosen to place much premium on materialism.
He wondered how a spiritual leader could use money paid by the congregation, many of whom can’t afford two decent meals a day to buy personal jet for himself, saying “Such behavior not only
outrageous but also ungodly”.